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Phillies Avoid Arbitration; Sign Bastardo

The Phillies have avoided arbitration with left-handed reliever Antonio Bastardo.

The Phillies signed the 27-year-old reliever to a one-year, $1.4 million contract. The deal includes bonus incentives.

Last year, Bastardo went 2-5 with a 4.33 ERA, striking out 81 batters in only 52 innings.


Ross, Swisher Off the Board for Phillies

Earlier today, it was reported that heavily sought corner outfielder Cody Ross had signed a three-year, $26 million deal to play in Arizona.

Last week, the Phillies intense pursuit of Ross was reported. It was known that Ross wanted a three-year deal and the Phillies were willing to go after the 31-year-old left fielder who hit 22 homers, 81 RBIs and had a .267 average and .807 OPS.

Even though the Phillies weren’t in heavy pursuit of Nick Swisher, the 32-year-old switch hitter is close to signing a deal with the Cleveland Indians. They offered him a four-year, $52 million deal, and he is close to signing there.

With Arizona signing Ross, it is possible that Jason Kubel could be available via trade, even more likely than his teammate Justin Upton.

Phillies Sign Ex-Nat John Lannan


LHP John Lannan

LHP John Lannan

The Phillies have agreed to a one-year, $2.5 million deal with left-handed starter John Lannan.

Lannan is a “low-risk, high-reward” move for Ruben Amaro, who said that was the type of player he was pursuing for his fifth starter. Kyle Kendrick will most likely be the fourth starter in the rotation now.

Lannan, 28, has a 42-52 record and 4.01 ERA in his six Major League seasons, all with the Nationals. Last year, Lannan went 4-1 with a 4.43 ERA in six starts.

Lannan’s history against the Phillies is almost infamous. Lannan is 3-13 against the Phillies with a 5.53 ERA in 19 career starts.

But the stat that really stands out are the 11 times Lannan hit a Phillies batter. The most famous was when he plunked Chase Utley in Lannan’s Major League debut on July 26, 2007, breaking his hand. On the next pitch, Lannan hit Ryan Howard and was immediately ejected.

“I don’t think he was trying to hit me,” Utley said after that game. “It kinda got away from him. He’s a young guy. He hit two guys in a row. I don’t think he was throwing at us.”

Phillies Sign RHP Mike Adams

RHP Mike Adams (Tom Pennington/Getty Images North America)

RHP Mike Adams (Tom Pennington/Getty Images North America)

According to KRIS-TV of Corpus Christi, TX, a family source confirms that the Phillies have signed right-handed reliever Mike Adams, pending a physical.

The deal is said to be worth $18 million, and is a three-year deal. The third year is a vesting option if Adams pitches 120 innings in 2013 and 2014, with at least 60 of those innings coming in 2014.

Adams, 34, is coming off another solid year with the Texas Rangers. Adams went 5-3 with a 3.27 ERA in 61 appearances. Adams struck out 45 and had a WHIP of 1.395 in 52 1/3 innings of work.

Adams has a 1.98 ERA over the past five seasons, which is third lowest of any reliever in baseball with at least 153 innings pitched.

The addition of Adams bolsters a weak bullpen that was one of the worst last season.

Olney: Ichiro Rejects Phillies Offer; Signs With Yankees

In an interesting report from ESPN’s Buster Olney, the New York Yankees will bring back Ichiro Suzuki for another season.

But what’s interesting about that is that Suzuki reportedly declined a two-year, $14 million offer from the Phillies to sign the one-year deal with New York.

The Phillies are in need of another corner outfielder and the pursuit of Ichiro became a curious one. Ichiro isn’t exactly known for his pop, especially with Cody Ross, Nick Swisher and Josh Hamilton still out there.

The price tag and years that Ross, Swisher and Hamilton are asking for must be turning off the Phillies. Hamilton is still trying to land a five-year deal somewhere while Swisher and Ross want four and three years respectively.

Suzuki, 39, would have made a nice lead-off hitter, but that would have given the Phillies an outfield of Suzuki, Domonic Brown, Ben Revere and Darin Ruf. The only way that deal would have made sense is if the Phillies then traded Brown for 36-year-old Alfonso Soriano, which would have continued to increase the age of the team.


Zolecki: Reports Indicate Braves Sign B.J. Upton

In a tweet by Todd Zolecki, “Numerous reports B.J. Upton has agreed to a five-year deal with Braves.”

The Braves were said to be in the running for Upton, who the Phillies and a mystery team were interested in as well. Reports say that Upton will receive between $14-15 million per year.

For those hoping to land Upton, the Phillies will have to look elsewhere for their centerfielder. Michael Bourn and Josh Hamilton are still on the board, but both will ask for more money than Upton.

Phillies sign veteran Willis

Las season, Dontrelle Willis held lefties to a .127 average with a .369 OPS against with a 20-2 K/BB ratio. (Jeffrey Phelps / Associated Press)

It has been confirmed by Matt Gelb that Dontrelle Willis has signed a one-year deal with the Phillies.

ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick first reported that the Philadelphia were close to a one-year, $1 million-plus deal (including incentives) with the left-hander pending a physical. Willis will be 30 in January.

The speculation started last night when Shane Victorino tweeted to Willis, “welcome to town homie.”

Willis is by far the most interesting signing of the off season. He could easily be a very effective LOOGY specialist, but that’s a role that Willis has never taken up before in his nine-year career.

The former Rookie of the Year made 13 appearances last season, all of them as a starter. And in 205 career games, 202 of them are starts.

Granted Willis posted a 5.00 ERA in 75 2/3 innings pitched last season with Cincinatti, it’s his splits against the left-handed hitting crowd that impressed the Phillies the most.

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Phillies sign former Nats outfielder Nix

(Getty Images)

The Phillies are looking to fill their void in left field via platoon.

Instead of dropping big bucks on Michael Cuddyer, the Phillies went out and signed Nationals left fielder Laynce Nix, according to CSN’s Jim Salisbury. The signing comes only a couple weeks after they picked up corner infielder/outfielder Ty Wigginton.

The reported length of the deal is two years and is pending a physical.

Nix, 31, is another role player, starting his career in Texas before playing for Milwaukee, Cincinnati and Washington during his nine-year career.

Last season, Nix enjoyed his best season with a .250 average, 16 homers and 44 RBIs. As a career pinch hitter, Nix is hitting .187 (.276 OBP; .269 slugging) with two homers and 40 strike outs in 152 plate appearances.

This is a great move to add depth. First Jim Thome, then Wigginton and now Nix.

The Phillies are adding cheap but high profile players to their bench. Each and every one of them are capable of starting to spell the Phillies every day starters and this is important for the long haul.

This also spells the doom for Ben Francisco, who was never really a top option off the bench. Players like Francisco and Ross Gload never showed the Phillies any true value during the 2011 campaign.

Phils sign Thome

(Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images)

The Phillies have agreed to a one-year, $1.25 million deal with slugger Jim Thome, according to Todd Zolecki.

The deal is pending Thome passing a physical. He will replace Ross Gload as the left-handed power bat off the bench, who is a free agent this year.

Thome hit 15 homers and 50 RBIs last year in 77 games.

Thome, 41, has 604 career home runs in 21 seasons. He played in Philadelphia from 2003-2005, hitting .260 with 96 home runs.

Thome was a designated hitter with the White Sox from 2005-2009 but after that, his role was delegated to bench duty with the Dodgers, Twins and a second stint in Cleveland.

More details and a longer story to follow later tonight